Friday, February 29, 2008

When it rains, it pours

Honestly, there is no escape...

The Central Park Hoodie and Mrs. Darcy are both finished and waiting to be seamed. I will try to do that some time this weekend when it is nice and quiet around the house. We are going to the Buddhist temple in Maryland again this Sunday for a merit-making ceremony for Pom's late brother. We did that two weeks ago for Bill. More on that afterwards.

In the meantime patterns and yarns keep throwing themselves at me. And I am so powerless...

First the Prism Andee yarn I ordered came. When Penny called I thought I was going to have to take out a loan to pay for it. As it turned out, not bad at all for Prism yarn. I won't tell though. Sorry, Mom, but I won't tell. It's a wonderfully soft 50%wool, 50% alpaca yarn, hand-dyed with color saturation only Laura Bryant of Prism can do. The colorway is mink. Think fur. The real colors are much deeper than this:

The cables also show up much better than in the picture.
The pattern is Chicknits' Twist. I won't make a hoodie, though. I like the collared version much better.

Another pattern I have been looking at for a long time is this bell sleeve jacket in the Vogue Holiday 2006. I even got the Cascade 220 yarn for it.
Somehow, something about that jacket didn't strike a right cord, so I kept putting off casting on. Then two days ago I saw this picture in Ravelry and did a double-take.

That was it! I didn't quite like the belt. And I didn't like how the body edging was done it reverse stockingnette. Bless her heart. Night Owl explains in great detail in her blog how she changed it into ribbing to match the sleeves; how many stiches, how many rows. Increases, decreases, the whole nine yards! I am now going to do it her way. Thank you Night Owl.

Now third's a charm, right?

The Nantucket Jacket. Yeah, cables galore. I love cables and moss stitches. The model is knitted in Berroco Pure Merino. I have Karabella Aurora 8 in ivory and grey. It knits to the same gauge. I have Dream in Color Classy in Black Parade. No that's too dark. Dusky Aurora would be very nice. I love blues. I don't have that. I cannot buy more yarn. Must knit from stash. Must not buy more yarn.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Musing

Not a bad weekend.

I made a lot of progress on the Central Park Hoodie. All the main parts are done. Now I have to make the front band and then sew all the parts together and I'm done. The Knitpicks' Main Line yarn knits up nicely. I will use it again.

It needs some serious blocking though. I will block it some more before sewing it together. Not very far to go. Another one to cross off my list soon.

At the Saturday workshop at the Yarn Barn we compared the progress on the entrelac vest. We are about on the same page now.

Naturally we couldn't resist showing off our socks as well.

How cool is that!

Penny's Granddaughter Christina shows off a very cute sweater her grandmother knitted for her :

Not a bad weekend at all.

Every so often you go through stacks of magazines and books looking for that one pattern that is just for you and come up empty. Then again every so often a pattern jumps out and yells "I'm yours. Knit me. NOW."

This is one such pattern.

Mrs. Darcy Cardigan

I have to knit this. I have to knit this now.

Rowan Summer Tweed in hurrican. From stash! The yarn was in such high demand last summer I did not get it until late fall so it was tucked away. The dark color doesn't photograph that well but the twisted ribs show up nicely and it is knitting up quickly too. I am also eyeing another of Mary Weaver's pattern, the Dahlia. But I will not cast on until I finish two more of my UFOs. Ha!

It's time for coffee, then back to work.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Update

Just a quickie post

On Saturday my friends and I went to a Buddhist temple in Silverspring, Maryland to offer food and baskets of basic staples to monks in memory of Bill. It was a touching ceremony. The monks said a prayer for him and for us all. I was too involved to take pictures but here is a pix of the food we and other people prepared for the monks, just to make you drool.

And the monks in their dining room.
We are going back in a couple of weeks for another ceremony for a friend's brother. I will make sure to take more pictures and write a more comprehensive blog about merit-making ceremony for a deceased loved one.

Monday was a federal holiday. It was warm but dreary. I stayed home. I finished the back of the Central Park Hoodie.

I am almost finished with one front now. This is a quicker knit than I expected. Good. I also got back to spinning again. Down to the basement and up with the roving. Here is the roving I bought at last year's Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. It is Blue Face Leicester.

It spun up nicely.

I have plenty of roving so there should be enough for a shawl. I will spin some more and ply it. There is a biweekly spinning workshop at an LYS that I am going to on a regular basis now to get my interest going. So far so good. Spinning has a calming effect on me. I also tried my hand at washing fleece. I looked around the internet and found the Yarn Harlot's tutorial on washing fleece by hand, which I prefer to doing it by the washing machine. I have two bags of wonderfully soft cormo fleece (also bought at the MD Sheep and Wool last year). I tried washing a little bit last night and will ask at the spinning workshop today about carding. The ultimate goal would be to wash the fleece, card it, spin it and knit it into a garment. Some day. Soon.

In the meantime I'll keep knitting. Hey, I haven't cast on anything yet. Socks don't count.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Plodding right along

A quick update for today. The Opal Jaywalker is finally finished. The final two inches only took me two weeks. But the final product is very lovely.

I also made some progress on the Central Park Hoodie. The Knitpicks yarn is quite nice to work with. And very economical.

A long weekend coming up because of the Presidents day holiday. I should be able to make more progress and finish more projects. I am itching to cast on more socks. I hope to spin too. Tuesday is spinning workshop at Uniquities and I hope to start plying. Hopefully I will have something knitable to show.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One down

Eight to go

A small ice storm hit Northern Virginia yesterday and my Mobius Easter basket class at the Yarn Barn was cancelled. I ripped out the hood of my basketweave hoodie and redid it. Here is the finished product. Much better.

It fits now. Done. Four skeins of Noro Transitions #21 (from stash, Yeah!!) held with Sublime merino. The original was knitted with a Nasua bulky yarn which is no longer available.

I also decided to cast on the Central Park Hoodie in Knitpicks Main Line. I want a spring/summer hoodie rather than a wool one.

I hope the cotton won't make it too heavy. It is 75% cotton and 25% merino. I never worked with Knitpicks yarn before so this will be an experiment. I will also have only a three-inch ribbing. The four-inch ribbing the pattern calls for is too thick for my liking.

I need to finish the socks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

WIPs and UFOs

This is bad.

I took stock of my work in progress and unfinished objects over the weekend and had to sit down. I stopped knitting and did the laundry. But then I had to face the truth: there is no way I am going to finish all that! I sat down and realistically went through the UFOs. More than half went into the "to be frogged and yarn reused" pile. A few more are designated "maybe." The to-be-frogged pile went down to the basement for now. The maybe's are set aside to be pondered over at a later date. If I stare at them long enough I might get inspired.

The rest are must do and will do. Here we go, in no particular order:
1. Basketweave Hoodie Would have finished it if Runty would get up! More on this hoodie later.

2. Duchess Dress. For Granddaugher Ingrid. In Debbie Bliss pure cotton. This needs to be done by the first week of April.

> 3. Entrelac Vest. Noro Silk Garden Lite. A little more than a third done, I think. Fun knit. I like entrelac. The armhole and neck shaping looks challenging since the pattern is not all that clear. It is all knitted in one piece.

4. Shaped shawl. Prism Stuff in tumbleweeds. It is halfway done. This was meant to be a present for a very dear friend last Christmas. I sent her socks. Then it was meant to be her birthday present this past January. I sent her socks. I am seeing her next month in Santa Fe. It will be done.

5. Charlott's Web Another shawl for another friend and my first real attempt at lace knitting. I am enjoying it very much. Love the yarn. It is Dream in Color's Smoochy sock yarn. I will make one for myself with Koigu.

6. Hedwig Socks Do socks count? I thought you are supposed to have a sock on the needle at all time....

7. Jaywalkers. More socks. Enough said.

8. Valley over the Moon Vest. From the Simply Shetland 2 collection. This one has been hibernating for over a year despite being 75% done. I must finish it. This is my first intarsia.

9. Central Park Hoodie

Just cast on over the weekend. If you ask why, I needed something to do while having a pedicure done. Berroco Pure Marino Nuance in gray.

I thought I would at least finish off the basketweave hoodie so I wrenched it away from under the Runt and plodded along. Voila.

The hood looks funny. Maybe I should have tried it on before doing the crap stitches. It couldn't have been that bad, could it?

It was.

Way too big. Now I will have to rip the crap stitches, rip the whole hood out and redo it. There goes the weekend.

Can I cast on a sock?

Or shall I tackle Mara?

Monday, February 04, 2008

February knitting

A very good start

February promises to be a very good knitting month.

I cast on three new projects. Yeah, just three. It is only the fourth of February after all.

A sock of course. This is New Year's Day Socks done in colorway Hedwig from Sunshine Yarns. You should check out her wonderful array of sock yarns. I want one of each!

An entrelac vest in Noro Silk Garden Lite. This is a Noro pattern that I have had for some time. Finally Noro came up with a colorway that I like. Several of us at the Yarn Barn are doing this vest.

And a little cotton dress for Granddaughter Ingrid. The pattern is a Louisa Harding, but the yarn is Debbie Bliss pure cotton. Since Ingrid lives in Austin, Texas, a cotton dress seems more practical.

That should keep me busy for a while.

Yesterday we had a pre-Superbowl knit-in at the Yarn Barn.

Plenty of food. Plenty of knitting. We showed off our Noro socks.

And admired the progress on the entrelac vest.

A good time was had by all.

Keep those needles clicking!